When you just think that Cisco has almost got it right and is slowly moving from a product based company to a more solution oriented company, they come up with something called CUAE (Cisco Unified Application Environment). Ok, it has been around for sometime but my experiences are pretty recent.
Trust me when I say, they have the right idea but serious introspection needs to be done on the end result. Let me explain for guys not familiar with CUAE. With Cisco betting big on the Unified Communication space, it was a logical step for them to develop an application development environment to build and deploy unified communication applications rapidly. Good thought, you would say. This CUAE is an application server that would be deployed in production and the deployed applications could enrich the UC suite.
I remember the days when we use to write applications on the Cisco IP Phones using standard XML and sometimes J2ME. So we were thrilled to hear about CUAE. We we started installing it, and it was a nightmare. There are two kinds of people ( differentiated by their skill set) in the Cisco world. NCE or Network Consultation Engineers whose primary responsibility would be to install and deploy the network elements and the ACEs, the application consultation engineers who would write applications on top of it.
The installation of the CUAE is so difficult an ACE would not be able to do it on his own and would require the help of an NCE. That is a flaw right there. A person should be able to install the environment he needs to use. Now think about it, lets say that an end customer would require some UC applications delivered very fast. The ACEs would write the applications, but to deploy it would require an NCE. Which pretty much means the partner company that is writing these applications need to have Network skills as well, which is pretty bizzarre. The cost would be high and the very premise of low cost/quick deployment model goes for a toss.
We are trying to get a database access plugin to work for the last three days and we just haven’t been able to do it.There are no trouble shooting documents/help forums available and needless to say, I am very disappointed with CUAE. This is how disappointed I am, I am in half a mind to throw this off and get back to XML programming. That is how bad it is.
It is not very often you see Cisco/bad in the same line, but CUAE seems to fit that bill very nicely.